In 1985, six concerned citizens started a grassroots effort to address the problems of the memory-impaired population. This group developed into a taskforce of 30 volunteers who initiated a campaign to raise operational funds for the City of Deerfield Beach’s new Alzheimer’s Day Care Center. This group was incorporated in September 1986 as N.E. Alzheimer’s Day Care Center, Inc.
Their original purpose was to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Day Care Center, which opened in October 1986. The Alzheimer’s Center was an expansion of the Senior Center, which opened in February 1981 to provide supportive services for individuals 60 years and older. The Alzheimer’s Center offers day care for individuals with memory disorders and provides physical and mental stimulation, counseling, crisis intervention and respite for caregivers.
In April 1992, the Senior Center developed Friends of the N.E. Focal Point Senior Center, Inc., a Board, to fundraise for the Senior Center. In 1998, the two Boards merged and became N.E. Focal Point CASA, Inc. CASA is an acronym for Children, Alzheimer’s Senior and Adult Services and means “home.” The Center’s motto is “Home Away From Home.”
The Board has received various grants from United Way, Florida Department of Transportation, Broward County, Doctor’s Hospital Foundation, AT & T Cares, Sun Sentinel Newspaper’s Community Grant, and Community Foundations. Grant funds provide transportation vehicles, exercise equipment, computers and educational books for children, and fund for respite and day care services for individuals with memory impairments and/or physical and functional limitations.
The Board has been able to mobilize event sponsors and encourage involvement of volunteers and financial supporters. In November 1998, the Board initiated a volunteer Auxiliary of 35 members to assist with fundraising. The Auxiliary sponsors an Annual Fashion Show Luncheon. In 2000, the Board’s Auxiliary mobilized the Women’s League of Hillsboro Beach to sponsor a fundraising event for the Center’s 20th Anniversary in 2001.
The Board supports the operation of the first five days a week Alzheimer’s and dementia day care and respite programs in Broward County. This Board partnered with the City of Deerfield Beach, State of Florida, Broward County, and Area Agency on Aging to develop an innovative approach to solve a problem and meet a need. This Board expanded its focus to help fundraise and support the Center’s senior, Adult Day Care and Child Care Centers.
The Board continues to support the Center’s services each year with ongoing funding and support. In addition, the Board has pledged $100,000 and its Auxiliary has pledged $30,000 toward the Center’s expansion project for a new Thrift Shop scheduled for completion in 2003. The Board has made a tremendous difference in the daily operations of the Center by providing more than $1 million in financial support and by motivating volunteers to support the Center’s services.
“It’s an honor for the city to have its N.E. Focal Point CASA, Inc. receive a Daily Points of Light Award. This will be a tribute to the 200 volunteers who assist the staff in providing quality services for the Children’s, Alzheimer’s, Senior and Adult programs at N.E. Focal Point,” states Al Capellini, Mayor of Deerfield Beach.